There September 5, 2011

Whenever I try to say what matters,

what matters pulls back, slips out of

view. But it is there. I felt it in the

Jewish Cemetery in Prague, between

the wet leaf and the broken stone.

There, in the still breathing of the

painted mime in Barcelona. In the

jaw of Table Mountain overlooking

Cape Town. In the shadowy trees

lacing the face of Paris. There, in

our open mouths when we make

love. And in John’s last smile as he

stared out the window at something

we couldn’t see. I see it in the quiver

of my father at ninety, now that he

can’t hide. It waits in the center of

clouds and escapes as rain. I’ve tried

so hard to stay near it. When I think

I’ve touched it, it leaves. And I drift.

Until great loss or great wonder

sweeps me to my knees. When

I give up, it lifts my face.

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